Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska
The disabled tank vessel “Golden Seas” is being pulled by an oil industry ice-breaker. It’s due in Dutch Harbor tomorrow, behind the Shell Oil vessel, the “Tor Viking,” which happened to be in port in preparation for offshore drilling. The “Tor Viking” is more powerful than anything the Coast Guard has in the Aleutians.
The vessels moved south of the Aleutians to find a little better weather. A Coast Guard cutter is escorting.
Saturday afternoon at Unalaska City Hall, local officials and representatives from the shipping industry had a briefing about how they will handle the 738-foot “Golden Seas” when it gets there. This is Coast Guard Lieutenant Mark Labert:
They plan to take the tanker to Captain’s Bay.
The “Golden Seas” lost its turbo power and was unable to counter the swells Friday and issued a distress call. It’s carrying a cargo of canola seeds to the United Arab Emirates from Canada.
Normally, the nearest available ocean-going tugs to the region are in Seattle, and it can take over a week for them to travel out to the Aleutian Islands. Gary Folley of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation says the lack of ocean-going tugs on a shipping route through the Aleutians, traveled by thousands of ships a year, is an issue of concern for the state.
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